Bryant industrial park ready for growth

Heartland HELP Fund loan and State LIIP grant assist with infrastructure improvements to prepare for first tenant

A new industrial park in Bryant, SD is taking shape after months of hard work by community developers.

Owned by local development corporation Bryant Area Improvement (BAI), the industrial park recently welcomed its first tenant, DSR, Inc.

Now, working with several community partners, BAI is finalizing steps towards the installation of infrastructure throughout the entire 11-acre park. Officials hope the project will provide for better access to the DSR facility as well as attract and support future development in the area.

Loss leads to opportunity

DSR is a diesel repair shop specializing in large diesel vehicles such as semi-trucks, farm tractors, earth-moving equipment and other heavy machinery. Owned by Randy and Carol Reddig, DSR had successfully operated in Vienna, SD since 1998.

A devastating fire destroyed DSR’s shop and equipment in the spring of 2018, resulting a total loss for the Reddigs.

Completely displaced, Randy and Carol began the search for a new headquarters, one that would better fit their needs. Community developers in nearby Bryant learned of their situation and took action.

BAI purchased eleven acres adjacent to Bryant city limits with the intent to develop it as an industrial park. After the purchase, BAI requested for the property to be annexed into the city in order to have access to all city services including water, sewer, electric and more.

“We thought we could appeal to them with a shovel-ready site plus reliable utilities,” said Jeff Davis, secretary of BAI. “Ultimately, it paid off as they chose to relocate to our community.”

DSR purchased six acres in the new industrial park and built a 9,750 square-foot facility consisting of shop and office spaces. With the larger space they also doubled their staff from three to six full-time employees and enjoy convenient access to highways with heavier load limits which accommodate their clientele. 

“DSR purchased and is occupying over half of the available property in the industrial park,” added Davis. “Needless to say, we couldn’t be happier to have them in Bryant. They are a solid business that will have a positive impact on our community for years to come.”

Partnerships provide financing for infrastructure

DSR’s decision to relocate to Bryant was contingent on the development of infrastructure to the site. BAI secured financing from the state’s Local Infrastructure Improvement Program (LIIP) as well as the city’s wholesale electric power supplier, Heartland Consumers Power District to help pay for the necessary improvements.

Awarded through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, LIIP provides grants to assist in funding the construction or reconstruction of infrastructure for the purpose of serving economic development projects.

With help from First District Association of Local Governments, a community planning and economic development organization, BAI acquired a $267,000 LIIP grant.

Because LIIP money must be matched, BAI utilized the Heartland Economic development Loan Program (HELP) Fund, a revolving loan program that promotes community development by funding business ownership and expansion, job creation and retention, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

“To make regional economies stronger we must first support local businesses,” said Casey Crabtree, Heartland director of economic development and governmental affairs. “Infrastructure improvements will increase reliability and ensure continued vitality in the community.”

TIF District will help recoup costs, improve area

With financing in place and a tenant secure, BAI’s next step was to establish the park as a TIF District. For assistance, officials turned to Toby Morris of Dougherty & Company, LLC, an investment bank and brokerage firm.

“A TIF district helps overcome costs that often prevent development and private investment from occurring,” said Morris. “New investment equals new jobs and more customers, and in turn, more investment opportunity and money for the community.”

TIF, or tax increment financing, is an incentive utilized by local governments to attract and retain private development and investment. Land within a TIF District has an increased property value, and the corresponding property tax revenue is used to pay for improvements within the district. As the area is developed, property values rise which generates more money for improvements, and so on.

“Tax Increment Financing is one of the most powerful economic development tools to help communities achieve their goals,” Morris said.

Creating additional opportunities

Along with the LIIP grant and HELP Fund loan, Bryant’s TIF district will pay for infrastructure improvements and extension of services within the park, including water, sewer and street reconstruction.

Once completed, it will create opportunities for additional commercial and residential development, which Crabtree says is the ultimate goal.

“We want to do more than attract that first tenant,” he said. “We want to help cities attract future tenants and accommodate further growth. We are a partner throughout the entire process so that at the end of the day, our customer communities are ready for development.”